Shelton pitches in game winner in overtime to give Lady Lions District title
Kailen Shelton pitched in a running one-handed floater from just inside the free throw line with four seconds remaining in overtime to lift Manila to a heart stopping 54-52 victory over Rivercrest in the finals of the 3A-3 District Tournament Championship Saturday night at Harrisburg.
Rivercrest had one last shot at a game winning three pointer, but Damonique Brown's desperation heave from midcourt was well off the mark, as the Lady Lions and their fans erupted into a victory celebration.
"You can't put into words what these kids have accomplished this year, and we're not done yet," said Lady Lion Coach Mark Manchester. "We aren't even close. We have more to do and we aren't satisfied. We have an incredible group of young women who just refuse to quit."
"Rivercrest did some things on defense that gave us problems, but we just gutted. Kailen stepped up and hit a big time shot at the end. There have been a bunch of big time shots hit by everybody on our team along the way. I thought both teams left every ounce of energy they had on the floor," added Manchester.
"I thought the last three minutes of the first half was the difference in the game," continued Manchester. "They had us on the ropes, down eight with three starters sitting on the bench in foul trouble. But we stepped up, got a couple of stops and a couple of key baskets which gave us new life. That was huge."
"Our fans are unbelievable. They are amazing. They have our backs no matter what the situation. You could feel Manila in here tonight, I'll just tell you," concluded Manchester.
Manila took a 13-11 lead after the first quarter behind Emily Cook's eight points, which included back to back three pointers. Taking advantage of Manila's foul trouble, Rivercrest battled back in the second stanza and reeled off a 9-0 run. Trailing 16-15 with 4:29 left in the half, Raya Henard gave the Lady Colts the lead on an inside bucket. Brown canned a pair of free throws and drained a three pointer before Krystan Vornes powered her way for two, giving Rivercrest a 24-16 lead at the 2:51 mark.
Cook broke the Lady Colt run with a pair of free throws, and after a Rivercrest bucket, Shelton canned two more charity tosses and dropped in a seven-footer to slice the Lady Colt lead to 26-22 at the half.
It was Manila's turn to rally in the third quarter, and when Shelton dropped in a free throw at the 2:42 mark, the game was tied 33-33. After a Lady Colt free throw, Manila moved back in front, 35-34, with an offensive stick-back by Shelton. Deven Burrow buried a three pointer from the corner after a Rivercrest turnover to push the Manila lead to four, but the Lady Colts charged back once more with back to back buckets by Taylor Harris and Brown to tie the game 38-38 entering the final frame.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, exchanging the lead on six occasions. Manila found itself down by one at the 1:20 mark when a wild scramble for the ball ensued. Shelton broke free from the pack and drove the length of the floor, converted the lay-up and was fouled. The junior forward calmly sank the "and one," giving the Lady Lions a 51-49 advantage.
Rivercrest answered one more time with 58 seconds left when Whitney Weathers pitched in a pair of foul shots to knot the score at 51-51. Manila attempted to play for the final shot, but after a timeout, threw the ball away on the inbounds, giving the Lady Colts a last shot at victory. Brown's attempt from the foul stripe with three Lady Lions defending fell short, sending the game into overtime.
Neither team could muster any offense in the extra period, until Shelton canned a free throw with 1:15 to go, giving Manila a 52-51 lead. Harris made one of two free shots on the other end to tie the game at 52 apiece with one minute left. The Lady Lions once again played for the last shot, and called time out with 14 seconds to go, setting up Shelton's last second heroics.
"I knew someone had to make a shot at the end," said Shelton. "I'm just glad I was able to do it to help my team."
Shelton topped Manila with 20 points while Cook finished with 17. Burrow scored nine while Kirsten Adcock and Taylor Teague chipped in four points apiece. The Lady Lions hit 14-20 free throws and drilled four treys.
Brown led Rivercrest with 20 points. Harris scored eight, Vornes and Kelsie Wilson netted six points apiece while Weathers and Henard chipped in five points each. Samantha Jackson added two points for the Lady Colts who made 14-21 foul shots while connecting on one three pointer.
Manila advanced to the finals with a convincing 68-45 thrashing of Corning Friday night. Manila bolted to a 24-13 lead after the first quarter as Burrow and Cook combined for 20 points. The Lady Lions increased their lead to 41-20 at the half behind Adcock's nine second period points. Manila carried a 55-37 advantage into the fourth quarter and cruised to the win.
Adcock led the Lady Lions with 21 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots. The 6'2" senior also drained four three pointers on the night. Cook scored 15 while Burrow finished with 11. Shelton tallied eight, Taylor Harmon scored six, Taylor Teague netted five while Lauren Woody chipped in two points. Manila drilled nine three pointers on the night and finished 9-14 from the foul stripe.
Landon Bronfiel led the Lady Bobcats with 19 points while Shayna Casinger added 12.
Manila will begin the 3A Regional Tournament play as a number one seed. The Lady Lions will take on fourth seeded Flippin Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Mountain View.